People Walking. Walking Dogs.

Trust me.  There are lots of people walking this path.  Some of us with dogs,  a few walking solitary in race-walk style;  hard to say if there were more photographers or dog walkers out.

We all knew what a gift we’d gotten today.  You could feel it in our self-satisfied grins as we congratulated each other on our perfect day.

Tessa was on sensory overload.  Her nose either glued to the ground or raised high as she air-sniffed.

Not too much heeling today.  For one,  it wouldn’t have been fair.  Tessa had been “yard bound” for way too long and despite the obedience work we’d done,  she was way out of practice.  And, two,  I wasn’t sure how much wear and tear my shoulder would take.  So we didn’t worry too much about that.

There were treats in my pocket and occasionally,  I’d stop walking,  say,  “Tessa!”  and reward her for stopping,  looking back and then coming to take what I held out.  But.  She was SO not into me.

Cobbs Hill walking is a different kind of walking than what we do in our neighborhood.  There’s more space for one thing.  And other people respect that.

You can spread out.  Take your time or hurry up.

Stay on the concrete path or go charging down the huge hill into the lower meadow.  Maybe veer off into the woods.  Which we would get to after we’d walked the perimeter.

Tessa drew smiles from other walkers.  She’s something to look at:  that lean, sleek, chiseled body, elegant neck and those huge, bat-like ears.  Any physical evidence of her hard, street life disappeared long ago.

She’s constantly filtering what she sees and smells,  like a stealth soldier on reconnaissance. Nothing gets past her.  Unlike that stealth warrior, there’s no discipline.  No control.  Given the opportunity,  Tessa would explode out into the world in a frenzied,  blast of energy.

I think she’d run like a bat out of hell,  if she was to somehow,  slip her collar.

Consequently,  she will always be my “harness child.”

Until we have worked together so that her focus is on me.  So that I know beyond any doubt that Tessa’s recall is stronger than her flight response.   Does that day ever come for any of us?

Because in my heart,  what I would love more than anything else, at least for that one moment, would be to watch this little speed merchant run free.   [gplus count=”true” size=”Medium” ]



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